What It’s Like From the Other Side

Transformation from a high school student at Youth Leadership Seminar to an Anthony Muñoz Foundation intern

Rewind back to 2009, when Sean Witzgall was a student at Harrison High School. Sean was lucky enough to attend the Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS) themed “G.E.T. M.A.D. Get Everyone To Make A Difference.” Well, after that seminar, he got so “mad” that he ended up becoming a great leader and role model for others. Fast forward to now, 2014, he is an intern at the Anthony Muñoz Foundation! Of course we wanted to know more, so we asked him a few questions:

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1.What about YLS do you remember most?

   At YLS, there was a speaker named Matthew Kelly. He talked about making the best version of yourself and gave everyone a free book, which I still read to this day.

2. In 2009, the YLS theme was “G.E.T. M.A.D.- Get Everyone To Make A Difference” What did you “G.E.T. M.A.D.” about?

I got “M.A.D.” about applying my leadership skills in high school. I started an organized student section called “The Den.” The Den is a group that got more students to come to sporting events and had organized themes and cheers. It brought the spirit of the school together.

3. How does it feel to intern at the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, especially since you attended YLS in 2009?

It’s pretty cool to have the connection. Now I am on the other side, and I can make a difference for these kids now.

4. This upcoming YLS’s theme is “Spark”. So what about the Anthony Muñoz Foundation sparks you?

At the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, it is always a positive environment, and creates a good place to make connections.

5. What would you tell others about YLS?

The impact that the seminar made can make you realize the importance of leadership. YLS hit home for me.

Sean Get Mad pic

6. How has your life changed since “G.E.T. M.A.D.?”

I became more of a leader, I take on greater challenges and pursue leadership. I changed my major to Organizational Leadership which I will be graduating with in December from Northern Kentucky University.

Without a doubt, Sean has gone on to become a leader in his community and high school. His experience led him on to having an enjoyable college experience and has allowed him to grow even more! Seeing how Sean has used his “Spark” to become a leader, we couldn’t be more excited to see all the leaders create their own spark at YLS this year! #SparkCincy

 

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Sean is in the last row, 4th from the left.

Kristen Ludwig
Programs Intern
#SparkCincy

 

From PluggedIn to Finding Your Spark…

We here at AMF are buzzing with excitement in preparation for the 13th annual Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS)! Following the success of last year’s YLS, we cannot be more thrilled to announce an even bigger, better, more jam-packed YLS than ever before.

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Last year’s YLS was all about getting Plugged In (#PluggedIn2013). Over 1,300 students from 96 high schools in the Tri-State area gathered at the Cintas Center. They spent the day rocking out to music from KJ52, learning valuable life lessons from four wonderful guest speakers, and enjoying a delicious Chick-fil-A lunch.Students were also challenged to develop a Service Challenge Project which would enable them to positively impact their communities. Needless to say, high school students from all over the local area did a fantastic job giving back to and inspiring their community.

Check out our 2013 recap video here!

AMF is eager to relive the excitement. With schools already beginning to register for the event, we are delighted to reveal the theme for this year’s YLS.

Spark. This year we challenge students to find what sparks them. Everyone has something that motivates them. It can be a desire to be creative, a wish to create change, a need to inspire, a burning passion, an outpouring of ideas, or even the opportunity to create a transformation of sorts. Whatever it is, we encourage students to start thinking about what sparks them; what lights the fire within you?   

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Spark also introduces something new to the YLS event: TED Talks. TED Talks are nationally known as inspiring lectures that promote the organization’s slogan, “ideas worth spreading”. AMF has teamed up with Tedx Cincinnati to provide a great line up of speakers that will discuss with students the idea behind spark including creativity, change, inspiration, passion, ideas, and transformation.

Never seen a Ted Talk? Check out this quick TEDx Cincinnati talk by Libby Hunter of Wordplay! 

So far 23 high schools have registered for this year’s YLS. We want to break last year’s record and have more than 100 schools attend the event. So quick! Spread the news and make sure to visit munozfoundation.org to make sure your school is registered! Spark is coming soon to a Cintas Center near you!

Jemannie Luong
Experience Intern
#SparkCincy

Shout Out to our 2014 $20,000 Scholarship Winners!

Ring Ring…It’s Your Future Calling!

       It’s not every day that your school’s athletic trainer interrupts your last bell with an important phone call, only to see Anthony Muñoz staring back at you through the screen on FaceTime. For one lucky and remarkably deserving student, that was just the case this past Friday at St. Xavier High School, in senior, Delrico Hill’s Finance class. Check out his pleasantly surprised (and slightly shocked!) reaction!

 

        Our annual Anthony Muñoz Scholarship Fund awards multiple Tri-State seniors with $20,000 for continuing their college education at the college level. We had a blast surprising each of our seven winners with the exciting news and managed to capture all of the memories on camera! All of our winners visited our headquarters last week for an in-depth interview with our official selection committee, including Anthony himself. We were blown away with the amount of outstanding candidates who applied this year making it incredibly difficult to choose just six so… we are giving away an additional scholarship for a grand total of $140,000! Although we wish we could award every deserving student who applies, we are confident that these students will accomplish remarkable success in their college careers and bright future!

 And a big CONGRATULATIONS to our Super Seven!

Logan Frederick, Clinton-Massie High School

Delrico Hill, Saint Xavier High School

Matthew Krabacher, Badin High School

Austin Morgan, New Miami High School

Jodi Seale, Felicity-Franklin High School

Andrew Rudd, Franklin High School

Dezire Lowry, Purcell Marian High School

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Twitter @munozfoundation to experience more announcement videos and introduce you to our super seven!

Another Great Year of Whiz Kids Has Come and Gone!

A Look at Our Whiz Kid’s Graduation Party Last Week 

Another year has come and gone, and what a year it has been! Last week we celebrated our annual Whiz Kid’s graduation party to celebrate our Robert’s Academy elementary students and their accomplishments.

 
Each student received a personalized book to continue reading throughout the summer, a graduation certificate, and a personal “congratulations” from Anthony himself. Although the tutors loved seeing their Whiz Kid graduate, I think our graduates favorite part was the Chick- Fil- A nugget tray! A big thank you to Michael Calloway at the Western Hills Chick-Fil-A for adding a lot of excitement to the party!

 
This year we had four fifth graders officially graduate from Whiz Kids for good! They will be moving on up to the 6th grade with ease. We have 19 other students who will stay with us for a few more years, and we cannot be happier to have them! We also have four kindergartners that will be moving on to the 1st grade and will get to stay with us for four more years!

 
The graduation party is only one of many events we celebrate with our Whiz Kids. Each year we have numerous holiday parties including Christmas with Santa and an Easter egg hunt. Our group of Whiz Kids is a lively bunch to say the least! They are full of energy and their love of reading is growing each year.

 
We would not be able to reach these children if it weren’t for our wonderful tutors. The biggest thank you of all goes to each and every tutor. Every time they come to Whiz Kids they are showing our children that they are important, and education is important. It has been a joy to personally be a part of this great program this year!

 
To learn more about the Whiz Kids program through City Gospel Mission, visit their site. We will be anxiously awaiting the fall when we will begin yet another year with our wonderful Whiz Kids!

 

All of our wonderful Whiz Kids after their graduation ceremony with Anthony!

All of our wonderful Whiz Kids after their graduation ceremony with Anthony!

One of our fourth graders, Abelardo and his tutor Tom, with Anthony!

One of our fourth graders, Abelardo and his tutor Tom, with Anthony!

 

Congrats Whiz Kids!
Victoria Sabato
Straight “A” Intern

It’s Finally Time to Recognize the Straight “A” Finalists!

And What an Inspiring Group of Finalists we Had to Choose From! 

This Wednesday, April 23rd, the Foundation will hold their annual Straight “A” Scholarship Luncheon at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. Over 300 nominations were sent in this year, and our Selection Committee narrowed them down to a truly inspiring group of 18 finalists.

Wednesday morning the finalists will be joined by their parents, mentors, most influential teachers, principals, Foundation partners, staff, and interns to recognize and celebrate their achievements and the commend their triumph over life’s adversities.

Each finalist is a recipient of a $2,000 scholarship from the Foundation toward their continued education. At the Luncheon, a male winner and a female winner will be announced to receive an addition $3,000 scholarship. In addition to this, our finalists will be receiving a personalized duffel bag from the Foundation and personalized Wrapped Hershey’s candy bars. A big thank you goes out to Jeff Ruby, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, and Wrapped Hershey’s for helping us recognize and award our finalists!

This group of finalists has a combined 3.64 GPA and has received 80 varsity letters. They are a well rounded group who has maintained high academic achievements while contributing to their community and participating in athletics. These finalists have participated in football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, bowling, wrestling, cross country, track, swimming, and golf. Wow, they really have it all covered! Their stories are incredible, and we cannot wait to hear from the finalists themselves.

Anthony has chosen our 2014 winners, but we can’t tell you just yet! When the odds were against them, these finalists went above and beyond to achieve their goals and reach their dreams. We cannot wait to recognize them this week for their accomplishments! See the 2014 Straight “A” Finalists here.

While I am up on stage, the other wonderful interns will be live tweeting from the event! Make sure to check out #SALuncheon for updates and an announcement of the winners!

 

I can’t wait!

Victoria Sabato

Straight “A” Intern

 

Last year's Straight "A" Finalists being recognized at the Luncheon! What an amazing group!

Last year’s Straight “A” Finalists being recognized at the Luncheon! What an amazing group!

 

The 2013 Straight "A" Winners, Shannon Chambers of Aiken High School (left), and Rachel Hall of St. Ursula Academy (right).

The 2013 Straight “A” Winners, Shannon Chambers of Aiken High School (left), and Rachel Hall of St. Ursula Academy (right).

Scholarship Fund #TBT

What are they up to now…

ImageBrandon, a graduate of Aiken High School is the first in his family to attend college and when he is not going to classes and studying, he works at Chipotle, plays his ps4 and is always trying to put a smile on others’ faces through his humor and inspiring charisma.

Tell us about you college experience thus far:

I am attending the University of Cincinnati as an Operations Managements major in the Lindner College of Business. The most exciting thing has been the diversity of people. We have students from all over the world across all social classes. It is really cool to connect with so many different people who all seem to add their own color to the painting of life that makes our world so special. My favorite course has been human sexuality because it’s one of those classes that really pulls you out of your comfort zone and teaches you about so many interesting things that people tend to shy away from.

What are you involved in?

I am involved with the African American Culture and Resource Center (AACRC), United Black Student Association (UBSA) and I play intramural basketball for the “Gen-1 Ballers” – comprised of players who are all first generation college students. Our team went 6-1 taking a tough loss in the Sweet 16 of the intramural tournament.

How has the scholarship impacted you?

The scholarship really helped me to grow up and begin to take responsibility. Without the Anthony Muñoz Scholarship, I would not be able to live on campus which would force me to commute from home turning my scenic 5 minute walk to class into an hour and a half bus ride and commute. It also helped me to pay for my unlimited meal plan which I use every day. It gave me a remarkable quality of education and life, and a place to live my freshman year. It provided me with enough money to take time from my job throughout my first semester to get acclimated to college life and focus on my studies. It has done miracles.

What’s next in your future?

Upon graduation, I want to contribute my degree to a company where I can showcase my natural talents and skills and the knowledge I have gained at UC. I want to be a role model and example that proves that any obstacle in life can be overcome, and if you put your mind to it and work hard, all of your dreams are achievable. I want young people to know that anything s possible and self-motivation is the best motivation.

Any advice on college, scholarships, and life?

My best advice is to keep your options open. I was accepted to 13 colleges before locking down my choice. Identify what is most important to you, whether it is the cost of tuition, the location, history of the university, etc. Also, when applying for scholarships never yourself out because the only way you have the chance to win, is if you make that first step and just apply.

ImageNext up is Sam Becker, a graduate of Archbishop McNicholas High School and freshman honor student at Miami University, majoring in Management and Leadership in the Farmer School of Business. Sam, who enjoys playing sports, spending time with his friends and family, giving back to the community and participating in philanthropic service, loves his time in Oxford so far!

Tell us about your college experience thus far:

The most exciting thing has been meeting all of the new people and having the freedom to grow up, and become a responsible adult and to really find yourself and discover the person that you are. My favorite course has been Business Writing or Business Statistics Accounting because I am seeing how I can apply all of the skills I’m learning for the rest of my life. I play intramural lacrosse and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

What’s next in your future?

I’m still learning so much about all of the careers in business and haven’t chosen a specific one. I know I want to be in business, and establish a career that allows me to provide for my family one day.

Any advice on scholarships, college, and life?

Don’t close any doors. If you aren’t satisfied, keep applying to colleges and scholarships. Stay positive and trust that everything will turn out how it is supposed to and work out for the best. Seek advice from people who have been in your shoes because they might steer you in the right direction. Challenge yourself and never be afraid to take the road less traveled.

 

Could you or a senior you know use $20,000 for college? It could be YOUR year! The clock is ticking with the April 30th deadline. Download your application now at munozfoundation.org, and learn more about eligibility requirements and application information. Follow us on Twitter @munozfoundation, for our exclusive scholarship tips and updates!

Questions? Send us a message at experience@munozfoundation.org – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Emma Sallquist

AMF Intern